NetFlix lawsuit settlement – only good for the lawyers

Another class action lawsuit, another settlement that pretty much benefits no one but the lawyers.
Here is the salient fact:
It’s alleged that NetFlix deceived people with its unlimited DVD rental claims.
As part of the settlement:
The person who filed the lawsuit (class representivie) will receive: $2000.
Those of us who were supposedly cheated will get a free one month upgrade to the next higher level of service (read this whole posting!).
The lawyers who handled the process: $2.5 million dollars
Yup, you and me, we get a free month of upgraded service, the lawyers get $2.5 million dollars.
It gets better – for most people who get the free on month upgrade to the next higher level of service (from three DVD’s checked out at a time to four, for example) that free month upgrade becomes a repeating charged monthly upgrade unless you explicitly change your service back to the old service level.
So, to repeat: $2.5 million for the lawyers, $2000 for the guy who initially complained, and most people who sign up for the free increase in service level will then have to actively downgrade it at the end of the month or they will be paying Netflix more money every month (I suppose they have to afford the legal fees somehow).
The American Legal System. – it’s wonderful in its complexity, and how frequently it tries to screw the little guy.

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